Paul Routledge: the Coronavirus pandemic could free us from the greed that engulfs sport – Paul Routledge

Canceling the Tokyo Summer Olympics is not a tragedy.

They can take place next year and the deferral could only require a much-needed rethinking of sport in society.

Organized sport has developed – degenerated, in my opinion – into a corporate monster that devours everything in its path.

Money is everything, from the hundreds of millions of state “funding” required by athletes to the “beautiful” multi-billionaire greedy for greed.

Most of the sport is simply the spectator trade, watched in pubs or at home, where BT and Sky compete for the lucrative loot of advertisements and subscriptions.

Worse still, it is closely linked and benefits enormously from the boom in problem gambling, especially among men who think it is smart to bet on how many turns or saves there are. While the nation is obsessed with sport, teams and medals, its people are constantly growing more obese – hardly fit to watch, much less play.

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Coronavirus outbreak

So while the big sport business is suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, this is a good time to step back and think about where the craze is taking us.

To hell in a handcart, if nothing has changed since months of forced laziness on the field, in velodrome, in profitable gyms, in elite rowing clubs and in the offices of agents guided by cash.

When something like normal returns, as we should hope, politicians, sportsmen and women, commentators, owners, administrators and anyone with a finger in this cloudy cake have to answer a simple question:

“How did sport in Britain get into such a greedy and corrupt mess, and how do you propose to get us out of it?”

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